Some men measure their manhood by the size of the present pile they can put under the Christmas tree. Not such a great idea. You can do much better than that.
I may be wrong, but I have noticed that more women seem to enjoy holiday shopping than do men. Many men seem to hate it. If you are a man who is such a hater, here is some free piece of holiday shopping advice:
Don’t buy anything.
Make a commitment to those you love to spend extra time with them in the coming year.
Make your attentive presence your greatest present. Stack your presence high.
Unfortunately your presence is not for sale at Walmart, and Amazon doesn’t carry it either.
It is often quite affordable. It is always precious.
Now, not everyone you care about may want more “you” for Christmas. For those people, ask yourself if it is more you than them that have been naughty or not so nice. Your present to them, might be a little honest talk. Remember, you are in control of how honest you are. You not in control of this gift being accepted.
There are many things that can get in the way or you having much presence to give. One of the most common of these is stress. Much of this stress can be directly related to buying presents.
Many men work overtime, take on more than one job, go without adequate sleep in order to have the means to add to the present pile.
Many men use credit at absurd interest rates to play Santa Claus. Ho, ho, ho, how sad.
Many men, as they go about sacrificing their own well-being to make money, dream of that magic moment when the gift receiver reacts to that special expensive something that has been given. Many men will look past that moment to the loving gratitude sex that hopefully, will follow the giving of a thoughtful gift.
I am of the belief that some holiday substance abuse is related to men bracing themselves from being told they got the wrong color or forgot that she or he prefers rubies to diamonds. “Did you save the receipt so I can exchange this?” is not what men want to hear following, “You really shouldn’t have spent that much money on me.” “You got me this last year,” not so good to hear either.
With children there is the “what else you got?” syndrome. With younger children there is the “box that it came in is more interesting than what came in it” disaster.
I doubt that you can get away without buying anything. You don’t want to be a drag on the economy. So, here are some cheap gift giving suggestions of high value.
Something that is symbolic of your relationship with that person, such as something that reminds you of a a special event you shared in the past year.
Something that it takes two to use, that you know the gift recipient would like to use with you.
Something that is a means to a end, that is a end you would enjoy complimenting the gift receiver on.
Remember that your special gift may lose value if you buy a bunch of other stuff to go along with it.
Some men use a “shotgun” gift giving approach of spraying the gift receiver with a bunch of stuff to increase the likelihood that one or more of the items will hit the mark.
Don’t do that.
I used to counsel men who had substance abuse disorders. Many had sold their children’s toys and partner’s jewelry to feed their habits. Many had lied about how items disappeared. Many had maxed out credit cards and owed money to people you don’t want to owe money to.
I often encouraged men to not borrow more money to buy stuff to try and make up for the misery their drug addictions had caused others. I tried to hook them on the high of being fully present with a loved one.
Being present takes time. It is facilitated by relaxed body postures and listening. It is facilitated by compliments. It is facilitated by seeing images in your head of what your gift recipient will talk about. It is about being amused by your loved ones. Presence is trying to see the world through the eyes of a loved one and being aware of cues that you are close to doing so and that you are not close to doing so.
None of the above is easy, but can be made easier without the distraction of worry over finances and guilt about not meeting one’s own standard as a stuff provider.
A holiday gift giving trap that many men fall into is the one of wondering what will be said when someone asks their loved one, what they got them for Christmas. Many men don’t want to look bad when this question is asked.
Imagine your love one saying that they got a commitment from you to be more fully present with them more often. They probably won’t say that. They may just keep the awareness of that gift to themselves.
Why make other people jealous?
If you follow any of these holiday gift giving suggestions and you are not fully satisfied with the results, I am sorry, but no refunds.
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